The Roots, Lil Mama and More Stars Celebrate Premiere of AMC’s ‘Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America’

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The Roots perform at "Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America" Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC


A cause for celebration! AMC honored the highly anticipated series premiere of Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America with a special event at the Apollo Theater in New York City on Monday, October 7.

The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter kicked off the night with an introduction of Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America to a packed house. Questlove called the series “a labor of love,” and Black Thought shared his excitement for “being able to tell the stories of the culture.”

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Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter and Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson of The Rootsattend “Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America” Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC

During the event, there was a screening of the premiere episode, titled “Jesus Walks.”  Afterward, the audience was surprised with a live performance by the ARC (Addicts Rehabilitation Center) choir, who are responsible for the gospel track Kanye West sampled for his hit song “Jesus Walks.”

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A choir performs at “Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America” Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC

The emotional performance received a standing ovation. The Roots then took to the stage to bring the house down with a performance that included special guest Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC fame.

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Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels performs at “Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America” Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC

Guests in attendance included Growing Up Hip Hop: New York cast members Lil Mama and her brother Arnstar, Flavor Flav’s son William Drayton Jr., Irv Gotti’s daughter Angie Pearson and hip-hop manager Madina Milana.

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Madina Milana, William Drayton, Angie Pearson, Niatia Kirkland, and Sean Kirkland attend “Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America” Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC

Each of Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America’s six episodes focuses on a groundbreaking song pivotal to the evolution of American music and culture. Artists, their collaborators and other influential musical and cultural figures deconstruct compositions, revisit the impact the song had on them personally and dissect the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work.

Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America is executive produced by Questlove, Black Thought, Alex Gibney, Shawn Gee, Angie Day, Rich Perello and Shea Serrano. It is directed by Erik Parker and One9.

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Angie Day, One9, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson , Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, Shawn Gee, Shea Serrano and Erik Parker attend “Hip Hop: Songs that Shook America” Screening/Event at The Apollo Theater on October 07, 2019 in New York City. Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AMC

Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America premieres on AMC on Sunday, October 13 at 12:00 a.m. ET.

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